Cheney Free Press -

 
 

By DREW PETERSON
Staff Intern 

Cheney graduate reaches 'Breaking Pointe'

 

Ballet West

Ian Tanzer during a photoshoot in Salt Lake City, Utah.

At 21-years-old most people are experiencing the highs and lows of impending adult life and the stressful process of preparing to pursue the “American Dream.” But unlike most 21-year-olds, Ian Tanzer’s journey is being documented on national TV.

The 2010 Cheney High School graduate will appear in the second season of the CW Network ballet reality television series “Breaking Pointe,” which follows the dancers of the elite ballet company “Ballet West” as they compete and prepare for the roles in their production of “Cinderella.”

While the documentary-style series will mostly focus on the main company’s dancers and their fight for the roles of Prince Charming and Cinderella, for Tanzer, a second-year member of the two-year training program Ballet West II, Breaking Pointe was another opportunity for him to prove that he’s plenty capable of performing with the best.

“They focused on that one set of performances, but for me it was about trying to make sure that I got promoted,” Tanzer said. “It was about the fact that I was in a two-year program and I was in the second year and there’s only one other guy standing in the way between me and my dream job. It’s a competition on every level no matter what age, rank, or who you are.”

And while ballet performers are better known for their grace and elegance rather than their fierce competitive drive and athletic ability, Tanzer will be the first to tell you about the immense commitment and physical dedication that is required to become a professional dancer.

“I have to stay in peak condition 365 days a year otherwise there’s literally probably 3,000 people who want my job and would work harder for it,” Tanzer said. “I think the preconceived notion about ballet is that everything looks easy and that everything is nice and light and flowy; that’s because we get paid to make it look like that. I’m at the gym at 6 in the morning every single day swimming a mile so that I can get to the studios by 8 a.m. and warm up for class that starts at 10 a.m., to rehearse until 6:45 at night. It’s basically a marathon.”

Tanzer is well prepared for a marathon as he states that being a Ballet West II dancer is “like being a rookie,” and that he has no room for error if he wants to make the successful jump from his current corps de ballet position to his dream role of becoming a soloist performer at Ballet West.

And while a three- month long filming process might magnify the pressure for some, “Breaking Pointe” did not bother Tanzer, who performed in front of 2,400 people a night at the world renown Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. last winter, it did magnify the realization that failure is not an option for him.

“I was fine with cameras in my face,” Tanzer said. “The hardest thing was remembering that if I failed that it was going to be public and that if it didn’t go the way I’ve been busting my butt for it to go, there’s going to be 1.6 million people a night watching it. And it’s never going to go away, for the rest of my life I’m going to have to watch that.”

“Breaking Pointe” will air on Monday, July 22, at 6 p.m. on the CW Network.

By DREW PETERSON

Staff Intern

At 21-years-old most people are experiencing the highs and lows of impending adult life and the stressful process of preparing to pursue the “American Dream.” But unlike most 21-year-olds, Ian Tanzer’s journey is being documented on national TV.

The 2010 Cheney High School graduate will appear in the second season of the CW Network ballet reality television series “Breaking Pointe,” which follows the dancers of the elite ballet company “Ballet West” as they compete and prepare for the roles in their production of “Cinderella.”

While the documentary-style series will mostly focus on the main company’s dancers and their fight for the roles of Prince Charming and Cinderella, for Tanzer, a second-year member of the two-year training program Ballet West II, Breaking Pointe was another opportunity for him to prove that he’s plenty capable of performing with the best.

“They focused on that one set of performances, but for me it was about trying to make sure that I got promoted,” Tanzer said. “It was about the fact that I was in a two-year program and I was in the second year and there’s only one other guy standing in the way between me and my dream job. It’s a competition on every level no matter what age, rank, or who you are.”

And while ballet performers are better known for their grace and elegance rather than their fierce competitive drive and athletic ability, Tanzer will be the first to tell you about the immense commitment and physical dedication that is required to become a professional dancer.

“I have to stay in peak condition 365 days a year otherwise there’s literally probably 3,000 people who want my job and would work harder for it,” Tanzer said. “I think the preconceived notion about ballet is that everything looks easy and that everything is nice and light and flowy; that’s because we get paid to make it look like that. I’m at the gym at 6 in the morning every single day swimming a mile so that I can get to the studios by 8 a.m. and warm up for class that starts at 10 a.m., to rehearse until 6:45 at night. It’s basically a marathon.”

Tanzer is well prepared for a marathon as he states that being a Ballet West II dancer is “like being a rookie,” and that he has no room for error if he wants to make the successful jump from his current corps de ballet position to his dream role of becoming a soloist performer at Ballet West.

And while a three- month long filming process might magnify the pressure for some, “Breaking Pointe” did not bother Tanzer, who performed in front of 2,400 people a night at the world renown Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. last winter, it did magnify the realization that failure is not an option for him.

“I was fine with cameras in my face,” Tanzer said. “The hardest thing was remembering that if I failed that it was going to be public and that if it didn’t go the way I’ve been busting my butt for it to go, there’s going to be 1.6 million people a night watching it. And it’s never going to go away, for the rest of my life I’m going to have to watch that.”

“Breaking Pointe” will air on Monday, July 22, at 6 p.m. on the CW Network.

 

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